Sunday, April 18, 2010

Dear John

Dear John.  Who would have thought a chance meeting could change two lives so much.

If you like Nicholas Sparks' other books, you'll probably like this one as well.  It has plenty of romance, sadness, and redemption.

Dear John is a love story about an army sergeant with a bit of a troubled past who comes home to his father on leave because he feels it's his duty as a son, and not because he wants to visit his father.  During a 2-week leave, he meets Savannah, an all-American college girl who is in the area during her summer break to build houses for the poor.

The book is narrated by John, and starts with him watching Savannah from afar while she's working on her farm.  Then it jumps a few years back to when they first met, and you get to follow along on their romance.  They are faced with several obstacles during their relationship, including Savannah's theories about John's strained relationship with his father and John's choice to re-enlist after 9/11.

Overall, Dear John is a nice, light read.  It's a pretty cookie-cutter war romance that could have taken place at any time in history, and I'm sure if I looked hard enough I'd find many of the same stories.

Up Next:  The Black Dagger Brotherhood: Dark Lover (Book 1)
This is a book that was recommended by some friends who also enjoyed the Twilight series.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Last Song

I debated for a while before finally deciding to read this book.  I love Nicholas Sparks, but could I get through the book without thinking about Miley Cyrus (the reason I refuse to see the movie)?  Then it occurred to me that if I ended up liking this book well enough to buy it, I'd probably be stuck with MC on the cover if I waited.  So, I bought it.

The Last Song takes us along as an obnoxious and rude teenage girl, Ronnie, is forced (along with her younger brother, Jonah, who is more than happy to go) to leave New York for the summer and spend it with her dad in North Carolina.  From a young age, Ronnie had an amazing musical ability.  Her father was a teacher at Julliard, and taught Ronnie to play the piano.  When he decides to leave Julliard in search of a career as a concert pianist, the marriage falls apart, and Ronnie blames him for her parents' divorce.

When she first arrives at her dad's home, she is downright mean to her dad, who is just trying to make up for the previous 3 years when Ronnie refused to have any contact with him.  He even builds a wall around his piano to prove that he loves her for who she is, and not for her talent.  The longer she is in North Carolina, the more she learns about what really happened between her parents, and finds a few surprises in her own life.

At the beginning of the book, I couldn't stand Ronnie and her bad attitude.  By the end, I found myself thrilled with her growth, amazed at her strength, crying for her heartbreak, and hoping for a happy ending.

The Last Song has landed itself on my Favorites list.